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Published on Sep 27, 2011
NIST's Firebrand Generator (also known as the "Dragon") produces showers of burning embers—or firebrands. Ingesting wood chips and exhaling firebrands, the novel equipment is used in research to better understand the behavior of wildfires that spread to communities. The ultimate aim is to reduce human casualties and structural damage due to these wildland-urban interface (WUI) fires. The equipment can replicate full-scale firebrand attacks under experimentally controlled conditions. Firebrands are generated as vegetation and structures burn in WUI fires. They are a significant cause of structure ignition in WUI fires, a growing peril that accounts for half of the nation's 10 most costly fires.